Whimper And Crush: Borderlands – The Pre-Sequel

By Adam Smith on June 5th, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is called Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, which should already tip you off that it’s a game trying extremely hard to out-zany its predecessors. In the press release that accompanies the release date trailer below (it’s out on October 17th on this side of the internet oceans and on the 14th in the US), several characters do a dance on the moon. Crazy, right? I can’t think of anything more hilarious than lunar choreography set to ironically terrible music, except maybe exactly the same thing but with a gun that shoots bees dropped in the middle of the whole show. Borderlands 3 will probably be announced by a troupe of clowns spilling out of a tiny car at your front door and rubbing a cream pie into your face.

Yes, I’m a misery-grump. I did enjoy what little of Borderlands 2 I played but not enough to see it through to the end and I didn’t even touch the DLC. The Pre-Sequel already has extra content prepped for launch in the form of a preorder exclusive – the Shock Drop Slaughter Pit.

There’s zero gravity monster-mashing on the moon but the game looks like more of the same, like a huge chunky expansion rather than a sequel. Or pre-sequel. Do you need more Borderlands in your life? Alec’s pre-preview provides information that I cannot.

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49 Comments »

  1. jorygriffis says:

    Borderlands 2 was unplayable for me. Some of the most grating, unfunny tripe I’ve ever read (or heard screechingly voice-acted.)

  2. Premium User Badge Anthile says:

    Well, that was a cringe-worthy trailer… just in time for E3! Luckily those are rarely indicative of the actual quality of the product so I hope they fix my two main gripes with the game: terrible loot and the joke that is UVHM. Unlikely, but a man can dream.

  3. lordcooper says:

    The illuminati and their counterparts are most adept in brainwashing techniques using a litany of resources, such as drugs (MKUltra, LSD), projects (Project Monarch, Phoenix), propaganda (constant bombardment of untruths and omissions by the media), cults/programming (groups giving up their individuality and blindly following some unstable leader), and video games, rock music, violence and witchcraft on TV, such as Harry Potter. Even works of fine art are polluted with vulgarity and crude innuendos. Societies have agents and sleepers everywhere.

    Borderlands is one of those videogames. LOOK AT THE ROBOT THING, IT’S THE EYE IN THE PYRAMID! WAKE UP!

  4. SillyWizard says:

    :(

    Shit like this makes me wish I’d been born a few generations before internets could have been conceived. Heck, before electricity had been harnessed, just to be safe.

    Yich.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      Yeah I think that video gave me cancer. My ears are bleeding.

  5. Palindrome says:

    yet another staggered release date, its almost as though publishers actually want their customers to pirate games.

  6. Einhaender says:

    BL2 is probably one of my most played games ever but for some reason the whole existence of this pisses me off. Probably because I fear that it will suck since it is made by different people and thus will cast a shadow upon BL3 which gearbox then tries to wipe by making stupid decisions.

  7. mpk says:

    I loved the original Borderlands, broken multiplayer and everything. It had charm, style and it was fundamentally insane.

    I enjoyed Borderlands 2, but not as much. It sacrificed a lot of the originals’ charm and replaced it with too much polish (taking away a lot of the rough edges and happy accidents that made the first so much fun) and MMOesque grind (gun drops were plentiful, but rarely an improvement).

    Y’know, a trailer is just a trailer, and it’s been a long time since I saw a trailer that was actually representative of the game/movie it was marketing. That said, if the lunacy of the first game can be brought back and if the Diablo-style collecting/hording that I loved so much in the first game can be improved by making drops more meaningful and useful, then roll on Borderlands 3.

    Only… it’s Gearbox, and the original Borderlands is still the best game they’ve ever made. They’re the Brett Ratner of gaming.

    • Rilmo says:

      What rough edges and happy accidents made the first game better? (Genuine curiosity)

      • satan says:

        For me it was finding out bits and pieces about the characters & planet’s backstory, and filling in the rest with logic and imagination. I liked hunting down the scraps of information about how everything went wrong on Pandora, who left, who stayed behind, etc. For me I really felt like I was on my own in BL1, nobody much trusted anybody else, and who could blame them? Pandora is/was a very dangerous place. I loved that feeling of being isolated and alone though, stuck on a planet in the middle of nowhere, chasing a legend, always looking over my back and never letting my guard down.

        That all went out the window for me in BL2 though because every 2 minutes somebody is screaming over the radio at you “I’M A BAD GUY DOIN BAD THINGS LOLOLOL”.

      • mpk says:

        I agree with satan*

        The first game was as ramshackle as the settlements on Pandora. There was nothing fundamentally broken about it, but at first play it seemed like a 7/10 game, once played, never remembered. But the whole was greater than the sum of the parts. Borderlands 2 is Borderlands turned up to eleven, with everything deliberately bigger and obviously more designed.

        The first game just seemed to work despite itself. Some of the level design** was brilliant, and although there’s no cover mechanic, it still allowed a mix of kamikaze tactics and slow, careful progression. The maps in B2 are just big and empty in comparison and everything seems more grindy. B1 had it pitched just right.

        *Haven’t said that in a while.
        ** Level design? How old am I?

        • Ryuuga says:

          The peeps above nail it. BL2 spent a lot of ammo on stuff that basically just ended up annoying me: bad, cheap heart-tug story with grimtragic moments glued in left and right, constant hollering in the voice channel from allies and enemies alike. That said, there’s a pretty fun shoot-n-loot game hidden behind the tiring empty bluster. The guns feel way less varied than in the first game, and some of the enemies are not a lot of fun to fight, but overall, it’s not a bad game.

          It does need separate volume sliders for voice messages (Unfun Jack etc) and general voice (bandits hollering when on fire), so that the former can be separately muted, tho. There’s just too many voice messages interrupting fights.. at times, so many it’s hard to even talk to the friend I play co-op with on Skype..

          • tormos says:

            I liked BL2 a lot better than BL. The first game was unplayably dull for me solo but the second was entertaining (at least partly because there was much less Claptrap). They’re both a blast on co-op, obviously

          • Ryuuga says:

            Single player, well, sure, BL2 has lots more color. But a lot of it just gets in the way in co-op, and even in single player, I find constant voice messages during combat to be nothing but annoying. And BL1 had that sweet, slightly old-Fallout vibe to it, all rust and decay. And the guns. The guns, while less blingy, had such surprises. In low levels, even white weapons could sometimes be awesome. The guns in BL2 are, by comparison, very standardized and predictable.

            And that’s not mentioning the terrible, terrible story in BL2. That game needed that story like a burger needs ice cream.

          • bonus_85 says:

            actually, now that you mention it, I think I will have some ice cream on my burger thank you very much

          • Ryuuga says:

            Mhm, it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye! If all your friends had ice cream on their burgers, would you?

  8. vecordae says:

    Interquel. A pre-sequal is an interquel.

    This word stands as a somber reminder of the terrible violence done to both the English language and to art in general by Gearbox.

  9. db1331 says:

    I’m wary of this after the reveal trailer with an over-excited Randy Pitchford telling us how awesome the game is, and not to worry that Gearbox themselves aren’t making it because he knows the game is in great hands. Sound familiar?

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Sounds like the way the DLC was handled for both games, and frankly, some of the highest moments of either game came in the DLC.

  10. gritz says:

    The humor in BL isn’t my cup of tea, but between this comments section and the one on the last Goat Simulator article I’m left with the impression that everyone here is completely devoid of humor.

    • Phendron says:

      RPS definitely caters to the snootiest branch of the gaming community.

      • Vodka, Crisps, Plutonium says:

        What’s wrong with having brains?

        • Distec says:

          You’re mixing up brains with assholes. Wrong ends, but I could understand the confusion in today’s world…

        • Phendron says:

          Being cynical doesn’t make you enlightened.

          • Vodka, Crisps, Plutonium says:

            Yes, but in the world (of gaming), oversaturated with tons of stuff, a bit of critical thinking helps to avoid the same experience over and over again.

  11. Vodka, Crisps, Plutonium says:

    May I ask a question, trailer: should I consult my doctor in case of experiencing extreme boredom from the video?

  12. Stevostin says:

    I don’t get the “meh” tone on Borderlands after the total thumb up to Borderlands 2. You guys put me into playing it (I was very defiant to say the least). Now it’s like RPS forgotten how much it had praised B2 when speaking about that one. Odd.

    • Adam Smith says:

      Different writers, different opinions. I’ve never enjoyed Borderlands’ humour and only enjoy the games in very short bursts.

  13. tsff22 says:

    Seriously, when did it become “cool” to hate one of last gen’s best FPSes?

  14. KevinLew says:

    The biggest features in this game sound like they just took Borderlands 1 or 2 and applied mods to them: Low gravity combat, new vehicles, and new gun textures.

    • Vodka, Crisps, Plutonium says:

      Low gravity, eh? Say, isn’t that the same route the Angry Birds took after a while? Also, mixing it up with pop-culture material references.

  15. The Dark One says:

    From that bit of UI where they showed off the new skill tree, I think the Expandalone tag could have safely been applied to this article.

  16. baozi says:

    Reading the comments, I guess I’m glad we don’t all share the same kind of humor.

  17. Guy Montag says:

    Well, that was a spectacularly crap attempt at replicating the Doomsday trailer from 2, and complete with a dance break that makes Star Wars Kinect look like some amazing thing I don’t want to come up with. Give me the thriller dance from Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, any day.

    … No. I’m sorry, I went too far. Still, planning to press-ganging 3 friends into playing this.

  18. quietone says:

    I loved Borderlands, I loved even more Borderlands 2. I’m gonna buy this game even if it sucks. Such line of reasoning made me buy X-Rebirth but, oh well…

    • libdab says:

      Same here … except I didn’t buy X-Rebirth ;-)

      How come everyone’s so down on the Borderlands series all of a sudden? Are we all trying to be cool and cynical? Or do RPSers just naturally come from the more cool and cynical end of the spectrum? Hhhmmm … could be an interesting sociology paper here.

      • MkMax says:

        i imagine its either because the large stretches of boredom in the games or the DLC exhaustion

        • TomxJ says:

          I’m going to argue that the BL2 DLC has been some of the most varied, fun not to mention world expanding DLC I’ve come across in a long time.

  19. Jackablade says:

    I have no investment in Borderlands one way or the other, but my goodness that was some unpleasant music.

  20. Jason Moyer says:

    Probably the only game I’m pre-ordering the rest of the year. Looks all around fab.

  21. bodydomelight says:

    “WE WANT SOMETHING NEW IN THE FPS GENRE. SICK OF BORING PREDICTABLE TWO-COLOUR MANSHOOTS WITHOUT HUMOUR OR COMMENTARY OR PLAYSTYLE AGENCY OR RESPECTABLE FEMALE REPRESENTATION”.

    “Well here’s the Borderlands series!”

    “NO NOT LIKE THAT WHAT I MEANT WAS I WANT AN IDENTICAL REMAKE OF UNREAL TOURNAMENT OR JUST ANYTHING THAT I OVERVALUE WITH NOSTALGIA.”

    Just kidding. I value all your opinions. They’re precious to me.

    • WHS says:

      I endorse this comment.

    • WHS says:

      Also I hadn’t even realized until you said it, but B2 really does smuggle in a lot of honest-to-god real female characters who are barely played for sex appeal at all. Just another example of the series pretending to be dumber than it is and fooling a lot of people, I guess.

  22. TomxJ says:

    I Cannot wait! More Borderlands is always a good thing!

  23. MkMax says:

    WOA, that has to be one of the worst trailers ive ever seen, it managed to tell me nothing other than “more borderlands”, disgust me with bad music and show me that the game still features everything i dont like about the other Borderland games, all at the same time!

    no, i cant say i need more of this in my life, ill consider a heavily discounted complete edition in a year … oh yeah they dont even make complete editions anymore, shrug

  24. libdab says:

    Well, I’ll probably be shunned by my friends for admitting this, if they “had existed in the first place” :-) , but I lurv Borderlands.

    Having said that, I much preferred the B2 wimoweh trailer to this one …